SEASIDE®’s beach pavilions are a special part of the town’s design by Wendy O. Dixon
The Seaside beach pavilions, dotted along the south side of each of Seaside’s streets, are an integral part of the town’s unique design, and reflect the visions of the award-winning architects who designed them. Three of Seaside’s pavilions, situated in the center of town, are accessible to the public (Seaside Pavilion, Coleman Pavilion and Mohney Pavilion). The remaining nine private pavilions are available for homeowners and Seaside guests. As a continuing series, The Seaside Times explores each pavilion’s unique features and the architects who designed them.
Odessa Street Beach Pavilion Architect: Roger Ferri (1949-1991)
When Roger Ferri was 26 years old, his career was launched with the design of the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art in Loretto, Penn. When he died of AIDS in 1991, he left behind a prolific record as a visionary architect, painter, designer, teacher and author. His work was featured at Columbia University in New York City in 2002, with more than 75 architectural drawings, renderings and photographs of his diverse projects on display. In addition, more than two dozen landscape paintings and figurative works were shown, many of which revealed his love of all things Italian.
According to Columbia University, Roger Ferri’s unique approach to architecture has had a lasting impact on his friends, colleagues and the profession in general. Colin Amery, an architectural consultant and co-author of Vanishing Histories, said Ferri “planted the seeds of debate about all the important issues facing architects and artists today.” Ada Louise Huxtable, writing in the New York Times, characterized his work as “totally visionary romanticism.”
The New York Times reported that Ferri was best known for his theories about the integration of nature and architecture. One of his most ambitious schemes, widely published but never built, was a proposal for a 44-story glass skyscraper in Manhattan that included a series of terraces and setbacks with huge gardens and rocky landscapes. A house he built on Fire Island sits on a trellis base and was designed to seem as though the house itself were a balcony overlooking the ocean. Ferri also transformed an old gymnasium in Loretto, Pa., into the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art and restored the conservation and permanent storage facilities of the New-York Historical Society in Manhattan. He also designed the installation of the society’s Tiffany glass collection.
In 1979, Ferri was commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art to present a visionary scheme for a pedestrian city as an afterword to “Transformations in Modern Architecture,” a large exhibition tracing 20 years of contemporary design trends. Mr. Ferri’s design, titled “A Proposal for an American Architecture and Urbanism in the Post Petroleum Age,” included a dome surrounded by a series of “Hypostyle Courtyards” that were halls in the shape of giant lilies 42 feet high.